Man accused of threatening Black family on Oregon coast faces ‘enhancement factors’


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man accused of harassing a Black family on the Oregon coast over the Fourth of July holiday also threatened officers who responded to the scene to take away illegal fireworks being lit on the beach, according to court documents.

Oleg Alexander Saranchuk, 45, currently faces a felony riot charge and numerous misdemeanors, including five counts of disorderly conduct in the second degree and two counts of interfering with a peace, parole and probation officer. The Lincoln County district attorney’s office added Saranchuk faces “enhancement factors,” including his criminal history and the alleged incident involving threats of violence, multiple victims and bias motivation.

Lincoln City investigators say Saranchuk was one of seven men who launched illegal fireworks and yelled racial slurs at the family in an incident to which 15 officers ultimately responded.

In probable cause documents released Thursday, police said the investigation started when they tried to take a bag of illegal fireworks from a boy who was seen shooting off mortars on the beach near the Inn at Spanish Head hotel. However, Saranchuk allegedly came over to the campfire and grabbed the bag. One of the responding Lincoln City police officers had taken his hands to arrest him, but reported in the probable cause documents that they were “outnumbered by a large margin and could not safely effect an arrest.”

When the officers tried to leave the initial scene, Saranchuk and the others tried to block them from their ATV, according to the documents.

Once they were about 40 yards away on the beach, the boy and another male who had had a bag of illegal fireworks asked the officers to return the legal ones. When the legal fireworks were being handed over, officers said Saranchuk and the other men had surrounded the back of the ATV and “refused to back up until other officers arrived on scene.”

The first two officers went back to the scene for the officers that had previously backed them up, when they saw Saranchuk and other members fo the group blasting music and screaming at the other officers, according to the court documents. The group then allegedly took the illegal fireworks, including mortars and aerial fireworks, they still had and lit them.

The officers also saw Saranchuk and his group approach a Black woman and her family several times, resulting in a “verbal disturbance between the groups” that “was always instigated by” Saranchuk and his group, according to the probable cause document, after they allegedly yelled racial slurs and threw Nazi salutes in their direction.

Saranchuk, who has posted a $10,000 bail, is set to be arraigned on July 13. It’s unclear if he has an attorney. Lincoln City police initially reported he was from Clark County, Washington; however, court documents indicate he lives in Portland.

He was ordered to be removed from the U.S. in 2010, but his home country of Kazakhstan would not take him back, KOIN 6 News learned from immigration officials.

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